1.08.2004

DON'T COUNT OUT HOWARD


Howard Kalogian’s candidacy for the Republican nomination to the US Senate up until now really has been little more than an easy source of jokes for politicos. After all, here’s a guy who’s only elected office was the State Assembly, from which he fell victim to term limits in 2000. Since then, his only real political involvements have been

a)Chairman of the RecallGrayDavis.com Committee – The committee which despite raising the second most amount of money (only behind Darrell Issa’s Rescue California), turned in the fewest signatures (most of the money presumably going into consultant Sal Russo and Howard’s pockets).

b)Chairman of DefendReagan.org – a website that took credit for beating down CBS’ attempt to smear Ronaldus Magnus.

Now, in the age of Dean-mania, you might think that someone with an interest such as Howard’s in the Internet could lead to some dramatic results. Not so. Howard’s website, www.howardforsenate.com is terrible.

However, Howard’s hopes – though thin – were still there because of a conservative thirst to stand on principle, post-Arnold. Working with the same consulting firm (Russo, Marsh, Rogers) that guided Matt Fong and Bill Simon through contested primaries, there were some who thought Howard might stand a chance.

That chance was given a big boost today.

The four sacred cows of California Republican politics are 1)taxes, Prop 13 2)abortion, 3)ammo, ie guns, and 4)aliens, ie illegal immigration. Rosario Marin is no doubt going to puppet whatever the President says. Bill Jones, though one who will be looking for ways to differentiate himself from Rosario, will probably succumb to the wishes of his Fresno farmer buddies, and support the amnesty bill too. That leaves Howard as the sole major candidate opposing the measure – something sure to inspire good will in California Republican circles.

Howard peels off lifers from Rosario, taxers from Jones, and immigration-reform folks from them both. In speeches, in mail, in ads, and in debates, look for this to be Howard #1 issue.

All of the polling I have seen tells me that Prop 187 would pass overwhelmingly again today – especially among Republican voters. Being the only candidate who’s taking a strong position on immigration, Howard Kaloogian today finds himself a serious candidate. Lets see if Sal Russo can pull off three in a row…

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